"DWTS" Dynamic Duos: The Good, the Bad and the Awkward
Last night's "Dancing with the Stars" left much to be desired—namely, a performance longer than 15 seconds from the "DWTS" Pro Troupe Team. Nevertheless, the stars kept things interesting during the "Dynamic Duo" episode, which featured routines channeling the likes of Adam and Eve, Bonnie and Clyde, Lucy and Ricky...you get the picture.
It also included a second round, the dreaded dance-offs: The pair with the highest score from the first round would be safe from elimination; the rest would challenge another team to a dance duel. The scoring seemed rather complicated—and somewhat arbitrary. The team eliminated, as it turns out, was the team with the lowest score from the opening round. Goodbye Tarzan and Jane (aka Michael Waltrip and Emma Slater).
Also amazeballs? The two-second tango from Cheryl Burke and Tony Dovolani (it's included in the video below). Unfortunately, the other brief Pro Troupe routine was just so awkward. On Sunday, "DWTS" must have turned their clocks way back to 2011. Here's the weirdest Royal Wedding portrayal:
Also pretty good (but also sorta awkward) was Janel Parrish and Valentin Chmerkovskiy's contemporary routine as dynamic duo Romeo and Juliet. I'd love to see an actual dancer play Juliet; but the judges apparently saw something in Parrish and her bent knees and floppy feet, and the couple earned perfect 10s. I couldn't help but think back to the other Chmerkovskiy's (brother Maksim's) contemporary number with partner Meryl Davis last season. (Though Parrish and Chmerkovskiy were missing the famous big, fat, wet smooch at the end.)
What did you think of last night's episode? Did you like the contemporary routine? Was the right pair sent packing? Let us know in the comments!
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)
Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers on their profile pages, and then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.
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Imagine attending American Ballet Theatre's prestigious NYC summer intensive, training among classical ballet legends. Imagine taking the stage at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals, competing against some of the country's best contemporary dancers. Now, imagine doing both—at the same time.
Welcome to Madison Brown's world. This summer, she's in her third year as a National Training Scholar with ABT, while also competing for NYCDA's Teen Outstanding Dancer title. (She's already won Outstanding Dancer in the Mini and Junior categories.) The logistics are complicated—ABT's five-week intensive overlaps with the weeklong NYCDA Nationals, which translates to a lot of cabs back and forth across Manhattan—but Maddie is committed to making the most of each opportunity. "I love contemporary and ballet equally," she says. "While I'm able to do both, I want to do as much as I can."
Maddie has an expressive face, endless extensions, and a quiet command of the stage. She dances with remarkable maturity—a trait noted by none other than Jennifer Lopez, one of the judges on NBC's "World of Dance," on which Maddie competed in Season 2. Although Maddie didn't take home the show's top prize, she was proud to be the youngest remaining soloist when she was eliminated, and saw the whole experience as an opportunity to grow. After all, she's just getting started. Oh, that's right—did we mention Maddie's only 14?
There's a story Kate Walker, director of dance at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, TX, loves to tell about Emma Sutherland, who just graduated from the program. "We were watching the students run a really long, challenging piece," Walker recalls. "Several kids couldn't quite make it through. But Emma did make it all the way to the end, which is when she walked up to us faculty and very politely asked, 'May I please go throw up?' "